Archive for May, 2008

The wonder of Wonderwool

May 27, 2008

YF stand at Wonderwool

A couple of weekends ago, Lou and Kerrie took Yarn Forward to the Wonderwool Festival. Doing the festivals is really important to us: it’s where we meet our readers, introduce ourselves to new people, and get acquainted with the designers, yarn companies and fibre-artists without whom there’d be nothing to knit, and no yarn to knit it with! But Wonderwool this year was particularly big, because we were bringing issue 5 and this was our first chance to show people a Yarn Forward magazine that was everything we thought it should be. Great patterns, quality design, intelligent and well-written articles from exciting contributors – everyone on the team knew we had a lot to be proud of.

And the result? We sold almost a hundred subscriptions, and 80 full sets of back issues. That’s a fantastic result, and we were really happy to have so many people saying hello and supporting for the magazine. If you’re out and about at the shows, please come over and introduce yourself – and get a good look at the gorgeous sample knits while you’re about it. (Apple Crush, my favourite from the Spring issue, looks even more appetising hanging there in the actual yarn!)

Of course, you don’t have to leave your computer to buy Yarn Forward – click here for subs and here to fill the gaps in your collection.   Don’t delay, the back issues are being snapped up fast!


Special Bank Holiday offer

May 23, 2008

I know I’m stepping on Sarah’s toes here as she is chief Yarn Forward blogger but I wanted to just tell you about a special bank holiday subscription offer that Lou and I have been talking about.

All NEW UK based subscriptions taken out between now and Tuesday morning 27th May we be at a special 10% discount, making the total price for 4 issues just £16.20.  This new price has been reflected on the subscriptions page and will be changed back to the normal price of £18 on Tuesday morning (probably at around 7am)

So if you have been considering taking out a subscription, this weekend might just be a good time to do so!  All new subscriptions start with the current spring issue but if you already have this and want to start with our summer issue then please let us know this in the paypal notes.

Best photo forward

May 21, 2008

The patterns are written, the samples are in, and last weekend, we had the photo shoot for the summer issue. Marianne is our talented photographer (she’s the one with the camera, of course), and Barry (up there in the blue) is her lovely assistant – toting equipment and wrangling lights. To see what they’re snapping, follow the jump… (more…)

One sweater does not a summer make…

May 19, 2008

But perhaps a whole stack of them will? Here’s a sneaky peek at some of the designs for the next issue

Summer designs

Here in the UK, we’ve just had a week of beautiful clear summery skies – just the weather for lightweight fabrics in cool pastels and sunny brights. That contrasting button band with the lilac buttons looks very appealing… and what’s that enigmatic little patch of green garter stitch going to turn out to be? Will the earthy toned lace be a shawl? And which of these beauties will be the pattern for the Yarn Forward summer knitalong? Make your guesses in the comments, and find out whether you were right when the new magazine comes out early in July.

YF profiles: Kerrie

May 16, 2008

Kerrie Allman is the founder of Yarn Forward. A lifelong knitter with a passion for all sorts of fibre arts, Kerrie took a little time out to tell the blog about herself, her job, and – of course – her knitting.

Kerrie at work

Kerrie says that the idea for Yarn Forward came in part from a sense of disillusionment with the existing UK knitting magazines. “I longed for something slightly more grown up, aimed at those of us who know how to knit and don’t want to be reminded how to cast on each issue.” But the idea could easily have stayed just that: “It was only when a friend told me that she would be able to help me get the first issue off the ground and had some experience in publishing that I decided to just go for it.”

Now, Kerrie is the Senior Editor of the magazine. Her main role is commissioning features and patterns, but she can find herself doing all manner of things when the occassion requires: “I have sold advertising in the past, stuffed thousands of envelopes, answered emails and queries, and sold the magazines to shops and subscribers. On photoshoot days I’m general dogsbody!

And after all that work, what is it that makes Yarn Forward special? “Lou and I are passionate about making a high quality magazine aimed at the more experienced knitters, or those of us who like to be stretched. There is nothing else like it in the British Market at the moment and I think that’s why we are popular.”

Even with Kerrie’s passion and commitment, getting an independent magazine up and running is a difficult business with many pitfalls. “The worst times have to be between issues 1 and 3 when I realised that this was not something that I could do on my own. I had some very serious problems with suppliers which, coupled with having made some silly mistakes, meant that the magazine suffered some delays in publishing and damage to its reputation.”

But experience, and the introduction of new people to the Yarn Forward team, has allowed Kerrie to put her early struggles behind her: “the best times have definitely been in the last 5 months working with Lou as a partner. Having Lou’s support has made it all good fun again and has shown what we can achieve with the magazine. The last issue was the first one we worked on together throughout and we loved the way it came out.”

After the jump: Kerrie shares her knitting triumphs and tragedies, and tells us about the knitters who inspire her.



May 12, 2008

Every pattern we publish goes through a careful process of test-knitting and technical editing to make sure that the magazine is as close as possible to perfect. Even so, mistakes sometimes sneak through – and every knitter knows, there’s nothing quite as annoying as coming to a juddering halt when the pattern stops making sense. We’re very happy to announce that the errata page is now open and ready to answer your questions. Think you’ve spotted an error we haven’t picked up on yet? Email info[at]yarnforwardmagazine[dot]co[dot]uk and let us know!

Readers’ projects: the Cloud Bolero

May 12, 2008

Publishing the wonderful patterns that come to Yarn Forward is always exciting, but the real magic begins when our readers pick up their needles and hooks and set to work. The range of ideas that individual knitters and crocheters can bring to a pattern is always inspiring: from choosing the yarn and the colour, to altering the shape of a garment to get that tailor-made look, Yarn Forward readers demonstrate that there’s so much more to a pattern than what’s printed on the page.

The Cloud Bolero illustrates this principle beautifully. The original design (by Ysolda Teague, available from our free patterns page) is a winsome feather-and-fan lace shrug. Worked in one piece from the top down, it features charming cap sleeves and a sweet picot edging. Here, three readers show how they took that original concept and made it into a garment of their own…

Black Cloud's Cloud Bolero

Sarah demonstrates how well her glorious red bolero goes with the glorious red of her hair. She altered the pattern slightly, eliminating the picot bind-off from the bottom hem after finding that it made the bolero flair out more than she wanted. The neat shape works well with the bold colour. Sarah used Lion Brand Cashmere blend. You can see more of her knitting on her blog, or find her on Ravelry as BlackCloud.

Kellygirl's Cloud Bolero

Kelly’s extra-long version is well suited to her body shape, and looks great over a long-sleeved t-shirt. “I cast on and knit until I ran out of yarn”, she says, and adds that the bolero “makes her feel a bit bohemian” – an effect enhanced by the variegated yarn she’s chosen (Sangria by Mister Joe, a discontinued bulky wool-mix). The long colour changes enhance the wavy lines of the lace. Find her on Ravelry as Kellygirl.

Liznen's Cloud Bolero

Like Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, lace knitting and multi-coloured yarn are separately beautiful, yet often incompatible: Liz’s bolero shows that feather-and-fan is a lovely exception to that rule, with the strong horizontal lines of the pattern showing off the rich autumnal shades of the Manos del Uruguay wool. She also lengthened the sleeves because she finds cap sleeves unflattering – a simple alteration which works very well. Liz made it for a wedding, and says that she’ll be wearing it for special occasions in the future. Find her on Ravelry as Liznen.

Thanks to the knitters who generously allowed us to use their pictures here. If you have a Yarn Forward project that you’d like to share with other readers, email sarah[at]yarnforwardmagazine[dot]co[dot]uk with pictures and details.

A Yarn Forward hello!

May 8, 2008

I’m Sarah, the newest member of the Yarn Forward team, and I’m very excited to be saying hello to you all! As you can see, my office is not the most luxurious, but I do have a very enthusiastic assistant. I’ve been a huge fan of Yarn Forward since issue one, so it’s terrific to be working with Lou and Kerrie now. I’ll be keeping you all up to date with the latest news from the magazine and filling you in on behind-the-scenes details: remember to subscribe using your feed reader service so you don’t miss a post.

It’s always fantastic to hear about what our readers are making – please email sarah[at]yarnforwardmagazine[dot]co[dot]uk and tell us about your favourite Yarn Forward projects so we can share them on the blog. Don’t forget to include pictures and a blog address (if you have one). I’m hoping to get a YF knitalong up and running in the very near future: if you’re interested in joining, leave a note in the comments, and suggestions for patterns will be gratefully received.

I’ve been knitting for a couple of years now and I’m only sorry I didn’t start sooner. There’s so much I want to knit, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to catch up! I’m keen on sweater knitting and am always on the look-out for patterns with interesting structures, shaping and textures – cables and smocking are my current loves, and I adore lace details. The Patty Sweater in the winter issue is definitely something I’ll be casting on for soon.

Happy knitting!